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Chapter 11 - Summer Love

The last dancing class for the day had been over for twenty minutes.  Chin Chin was making her rounds down the corridor for the final check before locking up the studio for the night.   As she approached the end of the hall, she heard music playing faintly and thought Nathaniel was there putting together a dance composition.  But instead, she was surprised to see Annabelle inside the room all by herself.  The little girl was practicing her dance moves with great diligence on her prosthetic leg.
 
Chin Chin quietly watched the little ballerina for a good five minutes and was deeply touched by the child’s persistency.  So she entered the room and turned the music louder and joined Annabelle.  They danced about happily, doing a lot of demi plies.  When she held the child’s hand, Annabelle was able to do the grand plié.  When she let go of Annabelle’s hand and tried to do the Arabesque, Chin Chin fumbled over her left leg and fell to the floor.  Instantly, resentment set in followed by frustration as she tried to choke back her tears.
 
Fei saw the entire scene from the time Chin Chin starting dancing with Annabelle to her fumbling down onto the floor.  He was about to enter the room to help Chin Chin but was pulled back by Nathaniel who had also been quietly watching. 
 
Annabelle crouched beside Chin Chin and took hold of her hand.  “It’s okay Ballerina Chin Chin.  I fell down many times before too!”
 
Chin Chin found comfort in the child’s sweet voice and started to smile.  With help from Annabelle, she got herself back to a standing position. 
 
“Watch me!”  Annabelle performed an arabesque for Chin Chin.  “I couldn’t do this before, but Grandma told me not to give up.  She always believed I could do it one day.  Watch me again!”  The child did another arabesque to proof her point.  Then Annabelle took Chin Chin’s hand and they both started dancing again.  “One day, you can do this by yourself.  I know you can!”
 
 
A few weeks later, Chi Shan and his team were wrapping up a homicide investigation by the waterfront.  Just when they were leaving, Fei’s attention was captured by a toddler who was climbing out from his baby cart that was parked very close to the boardwalk by the water’s edge. The toddler’s very young nanny was busy chit-chatting with another maid.  When the nanny realized what was happening, she made a loud cry and quickly lunged forward to catch the child.  But her cry had spooked the child, thus, causing him to tumble over the railing and fell into the open harbor.  Though it happened in a matter of seconds, Fei wasted no time in running towards the scene and jumped into the water to rescue the boy.
 
Chi Shan and the rest of the team heard the loud cry from the nanny.  When they turned around, they watched as Fei doved into the water.  They didn’t know what was happening until they ran up to the railing and watched as Fei resurfaced with the toddler.  A crowd of people had gathered around to watch the spectacle as well.
 
“Gigi, call an ambulance!”  Chi Shan commanded when he saw Fei treading the water with the unconscious boy.
 
Korean surveyed the area and saw a barge about twenty feet away.  “Fei! Over there!”   
 
Fei looked up and saw where Korean was pointing and started swimming towards the barge.  The crowd followed along to where Korean went and they stood watching while several team members pulled the toddler out of the water onto the barge.  Many of them gasped and held their breath in prayers as Fei performed artificial respiration on the unconscious boy.  When the resuscitation was accomplished, the cry of the toddler brought on cheers and applause from the bystanders who witnessed the entire scene.  Korean placed his jacket around the boy and carried him up the steps just as the ambulance attendees were making their way through the crowd with a gurney.
 
Fei remained on the barge and took off his jacket to wring off the excess water.  He was glad the weather was warming up as summer was approaching.  Before leaving, he turned around and took in the view of the busy harbor and wondered to himself how many times he would need to shower to decontaminate himself from being soaked in this polluted water.  And he was trying really, really hard to tell his brain not to think about the smell on his body at that precise moment.
 
 
As Fei turned his head to the direction where Gigi was calling him, something in the water caught the corner of his eyes.  It was a glistening light.  He turned back to look at the spot where the sparkle came from and noticed a soda can was hitting the side of the seawall embankment.  The metal can was about three feet away from the barge and the noon sun was causing something on top of the can to glitter.
 
Fei walked towards the edge of the barge and squinted his eyes.  He leaned slightly forward to get a better view; then he blinked a few times to make certain he was not imagining what he was seeing.  When he was still in doubt, he called Gigi and Chi Shan down so they could take a look as well.
 
“What’s the matter?”  Gigi stood next to him and wondered what Fei was looking at.
 
“Do you see a ring stuck to that pop can?” Fei pointed to the element that was about two and a half feet away now.  However, the object of interest was now submerged in the water.
 
“A ring?”  Gigi glanced at the spot where Fei was pointing to. “Where?”
 
Then the top of the pop can emerged from the water and emitted another sparkle.  When Gigi and Chi Shan confirmed there was indeed a ring stuck to the opening of the can, Fei dived back into the water and grabbed hold of the can.  He looked at the ring that was stuck to the opening of the can and his heart pounded hard against his chest.  He recognized the ring right away.  He was certain it was the same ring that he had placed on Kwan’s finger twice.  He held it tight and pulled himself out of the water.  Standing on the barge, he showed Gigi and Chi Shan the ring and told them it was the engagement ring that Kwan lost.  The same one she had accidentally dropped into the harbor around the same time when Chin Chin was rescued from her abductor last year.
 
That very night, Fei found the courage to finally pick up the phone and called Kwan.  However, when he kept getting her voicemail, he decided he would try again in the morning before going to the bank to put the ring into his safety deposit box.  Then he went to sleep with dreamy eyes and woke up with a glowing smile.  He didn’t know why there was a bubbling sense of joy in his heart when he woke up; he only knew he had woken up from a pleasant dream.  However, he soon became annoyed with himself because he couldn’t remember the dream no matter how hard he tried. 
 
 
After securing the diamond ring in his safety deposit box, Fei was exiting the bank when he took notice of a woman from across the street.  To Fei, the woman looked very much like Kwan.    He silently bid the woman to turn around slightly so he could take a better look to confirm if she was truly Kwan.  And when she lift her head for a quick glance towards his directions, Fei had a sense of déjà vu and realized he saw this moment in his dream last night.  Now it all made perfect sense why Kwan didn’t answer his calls from last night and why she had not returned his call from this morning when he left her a message on the answering machine. 
 
In a matter of split seconds, Kwan spotted someone she knew and started starting walking away.  Fei’s heart practically raced to the top of his throat, charging up every muscles in his body to chase after her.  Without thinking, he called out her name and dashed unto the busy street with moving cars.
 
Suddenly the shout of her name, mixed with the sound of brakes screeching, horns honking, and pedestrians screaming caused Kwan to turn around.  At precisely that moment, she watched as a man being bumped into the open air from across the street towards her direction.  She thought the voice had sounded like Fei, but then thought herself silly as the man landed unto the sidewalk and was immediately swallowed up by a whirlpool of pedestrians. 
 
Curious, and wanting very much to prove her own imaginative mind wrong; she took a few steps to where the man landed.  When she realized it was Fei lying on the ground, she hurled to his side and called out his name.   Out of panic, she wanted so much to shake him so he would wake up.  But her professionalism acted first and she took his wrist to check his pulse instead.  While she was still trying to find his pulse, Fei gained consciousness and opened his eyes.  “Kwan?” He met her weary eyes.  “Is that you?”
 
Fei felt rather disoriented for a moment and he looked confused when the face of a Caucasian man appeared.  “What happened, Quin?”  The man asked and lowered himself to be next to Kwan.  That was when Fei closed his eyes and became unconscious again.
 
The man immediately reached over and performed a routine medical check on Fei.  He pulled his eyelids and checked his pulse. 
 
“I think he was hit by a car.”  Kwan replied with trembling voice when Fei did not wake to her calling his name again.  She reached into her purse to search for her phone.  “I’ll call an ambulance!”
 
Someone in the crowd told Kwan that one was already on its way.  The Caucasian man continued to examine Fei’s neck and skull.  “Neck is okay, no cracks in the skull.  That’s a good sign, right?”
 
He gave Kwan a grin which brought a look of relieve on her face.  Then the man went on to examiner the rest of Fei’s body starting with his limply arms.  When he was done, he turned to Kwan and asked how she was holding up.  Kwan nodded her response but her anxiousness was obvious as she held on to Fei’s unresponsive hand.
 
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“Would you like me to give him mouth to mouth?”  With a twinkle in his eyes, the man teased.   “Or would you prefer to do that yourself?”
 
Kwan’s smile finally broke through this time and the fear in her eyes vanished.  She knew Fei would be fine.  She knew that because he was just examined by one of the world’s renowned neurosurgeons, who also happened to be her boss and mentor from John Hopkins University.
 
Ending Song = Summer Love by Leon Lai